Cook half century guides England towards draw

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The Independent Online

Alastair Cook hit an unbeaten 58 to help steer England towards a draw on the fifth and final day of the fourth cricket test against the West Indies at Kensington Oval.

England, resuming on 6-0, went to lunch comfortably placed at 115-1, trailing by just 34 runs.

Cook notched his second half century of the match and added 88 with his opening partner and captain Andrew Strauss, who scored 38. The 24-year-old Cook struck eight fours off 93 balls.

West Indies skipper Chris Gayle (1-15) claimed the only wicket of the day.

Left-handers Cook and Strauss resisted a testing opening burst from fast bowler Fidel Edwards as they followed their record opening stand of 229 in the first innings with another solid performance.

Cook had one anxious moment when, on 30, he top-edged Sulieman Benn's left-arm spin into the leg side but Brendan Nash just failed to haul in the spiraling catch running back from midwicket.

Strauss, on his 32nd birthday, seemed in a confident mood and looked to be eyeing up another big score following his first innings 142. But, after hitting five fours off 72 balls,he tried to force Gayle through the off side and dragged the ball onto his stumps.

Owais Shah was 13 not out off 26 balls before the break.